Quantifying Intervention Intensity: A Systematic Approach to Evaluating Student Response to Increasing Intervention Frequency

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Response to intervention (RTI) has been discussed as a new model of assessment. Although the basic process by which RTI works has received frequent attention in the literature, the available research leaves several important questions unanswered (Kavale et al. in Learn Disabil Q 28(1): 2–16, 2005). One concept within RTI that has received little empirical consideration is intervention intensity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the application of increased intervention frequency on the mathematics performance of students and to evaluate this increased frequency as a systematic means of increasing and quantifying intervention strength. Results indicate that although all students were responsive to the intervention, some participants were sensitive only to more frequent application of the treatment or at more intense levels of treatment. Through this methodology a means of quantifying treatment intensity was also identified and implications for future research are discussed.

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